Did you read my email yesterday?
If not, I strongly suggest that you do before continuing with this one.
Today, I want to talk about the issues with eating 'healthier'. Yep, you read that right. Eating healthy does have its issues.
A short while ago I began writing a book. The focus was nutrition. It all started really well until I reached chapter 2, which I titled: "The long-term adaptations to under-eating".
I had it in my head that I was going to write about the problems under-eating has on your endocrine system (hormone production). I was expecting to have to use buzz words 'starvation mode'. Ultimately suggesting that your body gets used to eating low calories and therefore when you binge of a weekend it results in drastic weight-gain.
Luckily, I wanted my book to be research driven. As factual as science can be.
Could I find any research even hinting that this 'starvation mode' was a thing?
Did it surprise me?
The fitness industry is saturated with people who call themselves coaches. People who throw buzz words about to make themselves sound as though they have the answer, the key, the secret to your problems. The reality is, they don't. There is no secret. No magic bullet. This 'starvation mode' does not exist.
Yes your hormones will down regulate as an acute (very short term) symptom of under-eating, but your body does a bloody good job of regulating and adjusting itself to adapt and cope with ever-changing circumstances.
You don't gain weight because you under-eat.
Want the truth?
It might hurt.....
You're overweight because you eat too much for your current level of physical activity!
Whilst trawling through multiple journals, reviews and scientific articles, I couldn't find a thing that hinted about this 'starvation mode'. I looked pretty hard too!
What kept coming up, however, was that the significant majority of the participants involved in the studies I read underestimated their food/energy intake by a whopping 40%!!
To put that into perspective, this equates to someone who thinks they're eating 1800Kcal could potentially be consuming as much as 3,000Kcal!
So where does eating healthier come into it?
Typically, cutting out crap like bread, pizza, pastries, chocolate etc and replacing it with healthier food often results in an individual reducing their overall calorie intake. The resultant effect, fat loss.... awesome!
The problem nowadays is that every 'healthy' cookbook you read or quirky cafe you visit is pushing meals that include the coolest ingredients to hit Instagram....
Avocado, coconut oil, halloumi etc
Now it's unfair of me to pick on these foods. I am joking. In isolation these foods are great. Nutrient dense, in fact. Cooking with butter, adding oil as a dressing to your salads is all fine! Amazing, to be honest! But the point I am trying to make is that a lot of these cool foods are not just high in nutrients but are also very high in calories.
You make your salad or opt for the healthy option in the cafe thinking that you're eating really well. From a nutrient perspective you might be, but without realising you are also eating way above your energy requirements .
No wonder you're struggling to lose body fat.
You can eat all the eggs, steak, sweet potato and avocado you like, but if you consume 5,000kcal of the stuff it's still going to make you fat, no matter how healthy they may be.
The answer here is to not cut these foods out and replace them with low calorie alternatives.
Please please please don't do that. I think we all understand that 'low fat' is no longer the best option. You should be eating these ingredients. They're good for you!
Instead, you need to monitor your intake of them.
No you don't need to obsess over MyFitnessPal every single day...
But I do think it's a good idea to track your food on some form of nutrition app in order to get an idea of what your average intake of Kcal, protein, fat and carbs might be.
You may be surprised. Perhaps you're one of those that do drastically underestimate their food intake?
It is extremely difficult, impossible in fact, to give you an idea of how much protein, fat and carbohydrates you should be eating. There are too many determining factors to provide you these details given that I do not know you, how often you exercise, they trype of training you enjoy, your body type, gender, etc etc etc. I provide these details to my clients after looking at their consultation forms in detail, and even then I adjust their intakes on a fairly regular basis after a period of good old trial and error.
If you’d like more info about joining our team, however...
Drop me an email and I’ll send over the relevant link so that you check out our packages and you can decide for yourself if we can help you with such matters.